Guidelines for Safe Zone Members

Be aware that a Safe Zone symbol posted in an office shared by multiple people does not mean that everyone in the office has gone through Safe Zone training. 


  1. Be supportive and visible to SWIC students by displaying the symbol of the Safe Zone program in your workspace, stating your involvement in your syllabus, etc. Please place the Safe Zone symbol on your door or in a visible place at your work station. If someone tears it down or defaces it, contact the Safe Zone project coordinator who will replace the symbol; also report the defacement to Public Safety. Contact a Safe Zone coordinator if you are leaving the college, changing offices or want to withdraw from the Safe Zone program. We do not want the symbol to end up on the door of someone who is not supportive of the program. You may be challenged as to your participation in this program. You are expected to defend the program by addressing prejudices. By voicing your position, you serve as a positive role model to others.

  2. Respect individuals' privacy. All contacts between a Safe Zone member and a student must be kept confidential. It is important not to "out" anyone. Students have a right to their privacy and you do not have the right to identify them in terms of sexual or gender identity. You may not understand why they would hide their identity but they have the right to do so. Be cautious when you are talking to students in the hallway where others may overhear. The ONLY possible exception to this rule would be if you feel that someone is in dangers, in which case, seek appropriate help from our counseling center.

  3. Be knowledgeable about issues related to gender and sexual orientation. Be familiar with the materials in this material so that you don't inadvertently contribute to myths and stereotypes or make the student uncomfortable.

  4. Keep in mind the stages of sexual identity development. Try to use language that reflects where the student is in his/her development. (Example: A student may be exploring his/her sexuality and may not identify self as gay/lesbian/bisexual even though she/he is engaging in same sex relationships.)

  5. You may find yourself being an advocate, advisor, teacher or mentor to students who seek your support. Feel free to have coffee or lunch with students who seek you out. We are strictly prohibiting romantic or sexual relationships forming between you and a student who seeks you out as a support through the Safe Zone program. We are also strongly recommending that you connect students with other social supports than the ones with which you are currently involved. In order for this program to be successful, it is important that Safe Zone members keep clear, professional boundaries.

  6. Please feel free to consult with the Safe Zone co-coordinators, Barbara Hunter (ext. 5590) or Shauna Scribner (ext. 5376) whenever you have questions or would like consultation regarding how to support, advise, or refer a student.

  7. Refer students for counseling when appropriate. If a student is experiencing a good deal of psychological distress and is having difficulty coping, suggest that counseling may be helpful to him/her. A good guideline for you to use: If you are feeling overwhelmed or worried about a student, a referral to a Safe Zone counselor in the Counseling Center would probably be appropriate.

  8. The Safe Zone program reserves the right to withhold or revoke membership to individuals who are not abiding by the established guidelines.